Hi all! I know this is late. Technically I still have 1 hour and 40 minutes in my timezone for my post to go live before the day is over. The reason why I’m late is because I rewrote the segment today and just now finished it. Have I mentioned I’m a pantser? Unlike the Niniers, the Cera Chronicles are completely pantsed. I actually don’t know what’s going to happen in X, Y, and Z. But, I suppose that’s what makes writing fun. Now, on with the story!
For the A to Z challenge, I present Murder Most Fowl, an unedited serial story from the unpublished Cera Chronicles. Please excuse the grammar mistakes. This hasn’t been critiqued yet. If you’re just diving into this story, you may want to start with part A.
Wind howled through the buildings, mourning the death of the bartender.
Joe sniffled and wiped his nose. “Pa…I always knew those’d be his last words.”
Perry turned her weapon on Joe and squeezed the trigger. I threw out a hand and slapped the ray-gun down. Lightning lanced toward Joe’s toes and he shrieked.
Pirates opened fire. My stalker took flight. Seth whipped his sword up. A bullet split in half and struck the dirt to either side of him. He spun into a charge and started slicing down opponents. Fues erupted into a cackle and let loose a flurry of arrows, one right after the other. He fanned out opposite of Seth in a cone of doom.
I yanked the ray-gun away from Perry. Alright, now how did I use this? I knew not to look directly at the pointy end. But this trigger… I squeezed. Bright blue-white light zapped in a stream and caught my stalker by the tailfeathers. It squawked and glowered at me. A shiver raced up my arms, and I grinned. This was fun!
“Mistress Cera!” Michael rushed from the town hall, Molly on his heels. He threw the door closed behind him. “It was not my fault! She did it. I had all the materials ready and then she—”
“It weren’t my fault.” Molly scowled at him. “A child has no right to be messin’ with—”
“I am not a child!” His face turned crimson. “I am—”
A pirate jumped from the town hall awning with a battle cry. I fired the gun, and he landed in a fit of spasms. I looked at Michael. “Just tell me what’s wrong.”
“Oh. Bomb!” An explosion blasted from within the building, blowing the door off its hinges. Broken shards of glass pelted outward. The ground shuddered. A crack snaked between my feet and started to widen.
Perry dove for Molly. I snatched Michael as the ground jutted. His little feet slipped and scrambled. Wood moaned. Dirt slid and rocks tumbled. The town hall tilted and began to sink. My footing crumbled beneath me, and the ground swallowed us. I flung my arms around Michael and twisted as we dropped out into a cavern.
I landed with my back against stone and Michael against my chest.
Silence hung as dust settled. I opened my eyes and stared straight up. A single shaft of light poured in from overhead. Rows upon rows of gilded bird statues hung from the cavern’s ceiling. Emeralds, rubies, and diamonds sparkled from carved eye-sockets. Silk and satin sashes hung from frozen feathers.
Except for one. One bird was plain stone with grooves cut where the eyes should have been—a pair of matching ‘x’s.
Michael groaned into my bosom and rolled off to lay next to me. A singed scrap of leather fluttered lazily from the hole and landed on his face. He grasped the edges of Molly’s map and held it out at arm’s length. “I think I know where we are.”
I rolled onto my stomach, pushed myself to my feet, and sighed. Separated again. And I’d lost my fun new ray-gun. I squinted through the dim lighting and found Perry standing nearby, head craned back, eyes staring at the plain carved bird. Blood dripped from her perforated hand.
“Is this why you killed him?” Molly asked.
I looked over my shoulder at her. Sun glinted off the ‘x’ shaped pendant around her neck. Perry turned around to face us—the same pendant hanging at her throat.
Molly lifted my ray-gun. “You know what they say about treasure hunts…”
Thanks for reading! If you want to start at the beginning, find it here. Don’t forget to visit other bloggers participating in the A to Z Challenge.
Do you have any criticism? Suggestions? Wild, off-the-wall ideas of “you know what would be funny…?” Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear them.